If you’re looking for the best phone of 2017, the search starts with the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. The crazy beautiful Infinity Display is a head turner and the complete lack of any side bezels makes is truly remarkable. But, let’s say you pick up your Galaxy from a carrier like most people do and you want to travel overseas or use it on another network. What do you do? Well, you can go through the carrier unlocking process or you can unlock through a third party service like Android SIM Unlock.
If your account is in good standing (no past due bills and older than 60-90 days) and your phone is paid off, you can normally request an unlock code from your carrier. T-Mobile even has an app on phones they sell so you can request it right on the device! But, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is brand new and therefore it’s impossible for it to have been on your account long enough to get an unlock code.
So, how do we get it unlocked? Here are step-by-step instructions for you to get your unlock code right now!
Get your IMEI Number
Before you do anything else, you need your IMEI number. IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identifier and it’s the unique code for every device to identify it to things like cell towers. Here’s how you get your IMEI number:
- Open the phone application
- Dial *#06#
- Your phone’s IMEI will pop up on the display
- Write it down in a document on your computer or a piece of paper nearby
We mentioned previously about the requirements to get your free SIM unlock. If you’re unsure if you qualify, give your carrier a ring and ask them. The worst they can tell you is no and all you’ve lost is time. If you do qualify, wonderful! Here are the steps to unlocking your device with an unlock code provided by your carrier:
- Call your carrier customer service (normally you just dial 611 and hit send!)
- Request an unlock code
- Provide the IMEI number you wrote down earlier
- Your unlock code will be sent to you and should arrive within 5 days
- Replace the SIM card in your phone with one from another carrier
- Enter the unlock code when the prompt comes up
Pretty simple stuff. If you’re traveling overseas and you’re picking up a SIM card when you get there, make sure you have all of your information written down so you can quickly access it. We suggest writing it down and keeping it in your purse or wallet so it’s handy. You don’t want to have it saved in a document in the cloud and not be able to access the internet.
If you don’t qualify for free SIM unlock from your carrier, you’re not out of luck! You have another option and that is buying an unlock code from a third-party service. These unlock codes can be incredibly cheap, down to about $10 for the Samsung Galaxy S8. This method will work for carriers besides T-Mobile and MetroPCS, so if you have service through them, we’ll have special instructions below for you.
- Visit Android SIM Unlock or a similar unlocking site and enter the IMEI you wrote down earlier
- Complete the checkout process
- Your unlock code will arrive in your email in about an hour, but most of the time sooner than that
- Put a SIM card from another carrier in your Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus
- Enter the unlock code in the prompt that appears on screen
T-Mobile and MetroPCS Unlocking Process
T-Mobile and MetroPCS, as we mentioned above, has its own unlocking app. Even if you don’t qualify for a free unlock, you can still unlock your device using the T-Mobile or MetroPCS Device unlock apps. Here’s how you’ll go about it:
- Visit Android SIM Unlock or a similar service and select the T-Mobile Device Unlock or MetroPCS Device Unlock option
- Enter your IMEI number
- Complete the checkout process
- You’ll receive your unlock confirmation email in 1 – 3 days
- Open the T-Mobile Device Unlock or MetroPCS Device unlock app
- Press Continue, then Permanent Unlock
- The unlock process will run and reboot your phone when its done
The process for T-Mobile isn’t any more complicated than other carriers, it’s just a bit slower.
With summer vacations coming up soon, you may want to invest in unlocking your Samsung Galaxy S8 or Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus right now so you don’t run into a time crunch. Let us know down in the comments if you’ll be unlocking your device.